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Students oppose ‘curfew’ on NLSIU campus

K.C. Deepika
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Students barred going in or out of the campus after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m.

Restrictions:A notification bars students from going in or out of the NLSIU campus after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m.— file photo: K. Murali Kumar
Restrictions:A notification bars students from going in or out of the NLSIU campus after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m.— file photo: K. Murali Kumar

Students of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) now face fresh restrictions on their entry and exit from the campus.

The restrictions, which appear to have been imposed in the wake of the alleged gang-rape of a student on the vast Jnanabharathi campus, within which NLSIU is situated, in October have become a bone of contention between the authorities of the premier law school and its students.

A notification issued to all the students by Vice-Chancellor R. Venkata Rao on November 27 bars students from going in or out of the NLSIU campus after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m. Those violating the restrictions have been warned of disciplinary measures and imposition of fines.

The reasons cited in the notification are: “There had been several reports of students leaving the university campus and arriving late in the night. Those who are involved in such practices should be aware of the fact that the general security environment in and around the heavily wooded Jnanabharathi university area adjoining the NLSIU campus, is not very satisfactory and there is grave threat to life and property of those moving in and out during night hours.”

The decision, the Vice-Chancellor says, was taken by the varsity’s executive council at a November 11 meeting. The students need to obtain prior permission from the authorities concerned if they have to step out of the campus past the deadline.

However, the students are of a different opinion. In a letter written to the Vice Chancellor on December 17, members of the Student Bar Association say: “There are numerous legitimate occasions requiring students to remain outside campus beyond 9 p.m. But none of the mentioned dangers posed at night pose any lesser threat during the day time, or late evening. This is the prerogative of public security enforcement, and transposing that onto the students amounts to shunning their responsibility.”

The letter also adds that the process of obtaining consent from several authorities is “unviable”.

Alternative

The students, instead, have proposed alternatives to the curfew””, including extending the deadline to enter the campus till 11.30 p.m. The students can display their identity cards after 9 p.m. before entering, they have suggested. The time restriction to exit, the students say, can be kept at 10 p.m.

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